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Old 12-04-2012, 01:41 AM   #1
Dean74 OP
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Bike taken by Customs in Lima, Peru. HELP?!

Hello All,
My bike has been detained by customs in Lima for 4 months now. Whenever i ask about it i am told it will be ready "next week". This has been the line since August so i am rapidly losing faith.

The problem is that it overstayed it's temporary import permit so was seized by customs. This happened because i broke my leg (tib/fib exposed compound fracture in dirty water in the amazon) and needed several operations to make sure i didn't lose the leg. By the time all that had been done and i arranged shipping the permit was expired by a week.

It might be that the process is very slow with miles of red tape, but it might also be that someone wants to steal my bike, (it's a KTM 950).

If anyone out there has a good contact in customs in Lima who could make some enquiries on my behalf to find out what's going on, and then let me know, that would be really helpful.

cheers,
Dino Martinello.
www.donkeyandthemule.com.au
www.motodino.net
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #2
TeeVee
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most likely you're gonna be shit outta luck. dealing with latin american governments is not something you ever want to do. better get yourself an attorney down there.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by TeeVee View Post
most likely you're gonna be shit outta luck. dealing with latin american governments is not something you ever want to do. better get yourself an attorney down there.
Regrettably if they've had it for 4 months it might be gone already. Only way to let them know you mean business is to lawyer-up and hope for the best. That sucks. On the plus side, at least you got to keep the leg. Good luck.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
ewr2004
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I agree 100% - Lawyer up immediately. Don't waste any more time.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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"Lawyer up?" I would be very careful with that advice. Lawyers is the U.S. do a very good job at taking your money with little regard for the results. Having done business in a several Latin American countries, I can tell you it's worse there. I don't have anything against Latin America, in fact I love it down there. I'm just anti-lawyer, from experience. Incidents of abogados down there taking a retainer from gringo clients and then disappearing are quite numerous. Even if you can find an honest lawyer, weigh the expected fees against the value of your bike that, by know, is very likely gone anyway.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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I wish I had some advice, maybe a local to Lima will chime in and have some experience with the aduana there. Lima is one of the few big cities I didn't not spend time in while in SA.

If it were me, I wouldn't have let it go on this long for starters. I'm not sure from your post if you've physically seen the bike since it was detained. If you haven't seen your bike in 4 months I'd be warming up to the reality you may not see your bike again.

That said, if this were me, from day one I would be at that aduana office the second it opened working the system to the best of my ability. Failing that I would befriend as many of the office underlings as I could and see if I could work out a propina/bribe accommodation. In my experience, a big smile and chit chat can get you far in these situations. Talk about your travels and where you've been, how much you love Peru, and how important it is to get you bike back..yada yada yada...

It sucks you're in this situation and I hope you're able to work it out.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
Airhead Wrangler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parcero View Post
"Lawyer up?" I would be very careful with that advice. Lawyers is the U.S. do a very good job at taking your money with little regard for the results. Having done business in a several Latin American countries, I can tell you it's worse there.
That's quite a blanket statement. I've had quite the opposite experience with lawyers in Mexico (no lawyer experience in Peru though). Thay've been very cheap and very efficient at navigating bureaucracy. Just gotta find the right one.
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Old 12-05-2012, 12:46 PM   #8
bananaman
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Originally Posted by Misery Goat View Post
I wish I had some advice, maybe a local to Lima will chime in and have some experience with the aduana there. Lima is one of the few big cities I didn't not spend time in while in SA.

If it were me, I wouldn't have let it go on this long for starters. I'm not sure from your post if you've physically seen the bike since it was detained. If you haven't seen your bike in 4 months I'd be warming up to the reality you may not see your bike again.

That said, if this were me, from day one I would be at that aduana office the second it opened working the system to the best of my ability. Failing that I would befriend as many of the office underlings as I could and see if I could work out a propina/bribe accommodation. In my experience, a big smile and chit chat can get you far in these situations. Talk about your travels and where you've been, how much you love Peru, and how important it is to get you bike back..yada yada yada...

It sucks you're in this situation and I hope you're able to work it out.
This, and also contact the US Consulate.

But there might be another way... If US$200 is the fee for simply riding on the highway north of Lima, I bet that US$200 to the right person will get your bike out.

NOT that I'm advocating bribery. I didn't pay the $200 bribes north of Lima and I'm 99% against paying bribes in general. It just that in Peru, the bribe -route might be the only way to go. If your story is true, then your reason for leaving the bike behind is different from, for example, me, if I had just been too lazy to pay attention to the paperwork.

I don't know what your travel insurance policy is like, but would they cover helping you get your bike home? Mine... I'm not sure what Travelguard would say about a bike over-staying a temporary import permit. My international policy covered medevac, and I'm actually not sure what they would have done about the bike.

ps: we're going to need gross pictures of the open fracture, preferable before coffee in the morning.
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:33 PM   #9
TeeVee
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don't listen to the BS about lawyers. everyone hates 'em until they need one.

check out the list here. http://lima.usembassy.gov/acs_peru.html.

not vetted, but if they fuck you, you can always drop a note to the embassy and probably have them removed. fucking clients is not good for business.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:14 PM   #10
CanadianX
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The net can be a powerful tool. Put your info together about your accident, the timeline to recovery and the issue you are having now with your bike being held. Be understanding but firm that you want to tell a positive story about Peru as a tourist destination on your blog and on the internet forums that post on and that many many thousands of people read.
Ask how important tourism is to them.

To offer a bit of support I sent the below, maybe it could be worded better but if enough people ask the question maybe your inquiries and these questions will meet and some one will be moved to act and get your bike back to you.

http://visitperu.com/ptb_ing/contactus.html

Message sent:
"I have thought about visiting and riding my motorcycle in Peru however I am concerned about corruption and theft. I have read about a person who has had their motorcycle held in customs for over four months now. Is it safe to travel in Peru?"
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:02 AM   #11
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http://visitperu.com/ptb_ing/contactus.html
Message sent.
Did NOT refrence this Site or Thread.
Just indicated I was planing a visit and had heard negative reports on the internet about customs seizing a KTM950 motorcycle 4 months ago and not returning it after promising to do so each week.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:14 PM   #12
Dean74 OP
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re emails

Hi Guys,
i really appreciate your support, but am concerned that this might be counterproductive. I have located the bike in Lima, customs do not have it yet. Am trying to find a legal way to get it out of the country, failing that i guess i'll consider other options.
Because of that, it might just be better to keep it under the radar for now.
thanks,
Dean.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #13
cu260r6
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Contact the US embassy! They have consular officers that are there primarily to help americans with problems abroad. They'll know exactly the person to contact to accomplish something rather than giving you the run around.
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Old 12-09-2012, 10:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by cu260r6 View Post
Contact the US embassy! They have consular officers that are there primarily to help americans with problems abroad. They'll know exactly the person to contact to accomplish something rather than giving you the run around.
For some reason I don't think the OP is American. Look up his blog.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:56 AM   #15
bananaman
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When I said I wanted to see gross pictures, I didn't know you'd come through so well. Bravo. But dang- I was just about to have breakfast, and this is just gross. Maybe enough to make me want to huddle in a corner and never ride again.

Seriously, fellow inmates: don't click on the link to our brave OP's blog unless you have a strong stomach.


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